The Repeating Rifle Mannlicher 1888 better known as Mannlicher M1888 was a bolt-action rifle used by several armies from 1888 to 1945. Derived from the M1885 and later M1886 models, it was Ferdinand Mannlicher's third rifle that utilized the "enbloc clip".
The M1888 was a direct and immediate descendant of the M1886 Austrian Mannlicher. This rifle too was a straight-pull, bolt-action, box magazine repeater. As early as the beginning of production of the M1886 the need and desirability for a small-bore rifle was evident. This rifle is virtually identical to its predecessor but for chambering a newly designed 8 mm cartridge, loaded originally with black powder and denominated 8×52mmR.
Shortly thereafter, the M88 cartridge was converted to semi-smokeless powder. The new cartridge was designated 8mm M.1890 scharfe Patrone and its dimensions were 8×50mmR. The sights of existing black powder 8mm Mannlicher rifles were converted to accommodate semi-smokeless ammunition by the functional arrangement of screw mounting re-graduated sideplates onto the outsides of the existing rear sight walls. The converted rifles were denominated M.88–90.
When in 1890 semi-smokeless powder became available, manufacture of rifles with a longer and thus stronger chamber and modified sights began. Although the smokeless powder filled M.93 8×50mmR cartridge can be used in this rifle, the generated pressure at 40,000 psi (275.8 MPa) is marginal, as the wedge-lock bolt system this rifle uses was originally designed to be shot with less potent black powder filled 11×58mmR ammunution.
Austria-Hungary First Austrian Republic Boers Kingdom of Bulgaria China Republic of China (1912–28) Chile Czechoslovakia Sudeten German Party Ecuador Ethiopian Empire Nazi Germany: Used by Volkssturm. Kingdom of Greece: Captured from Bulgaria during the Second Balkan War and at the end of World War I. Haganah Kingdom of Hungary India Kingdom of Italy Persia Philippines Second Polish Republic Kingdom of Romania: Before Second Balkan War Romania bought circa 60.000 Mannlicher M.90 and M.95. Russian Empire Soviet Russia Kingdom of Serbia Kingdom of Siam : According to Steyr sales records, 15,000 M1888 rifles were furnished to Siam, most in the 1890s. Some may have been used items, sold from Austrian military stocks. Spain Second Spanish Republic United Kingdom : Captured in Ethiopia, used by African or Indian troops in Garrison/Guard duties in Abyssinia in the 1941-42 period, and then ended up (along with all the rest of the captured Equipment) in India, the more modern rifles (M95s and Carcanos) and MGs, going to front line training ( Burma Front) and the rest (like M88) to straight training units and guard duty in the boonies of India. Kingdom of Yugoslavia
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